FALL RIVER AREA ELECTED OFFICIALS APPLAUD COAST GUARD RECOMMENDATION AGAINST LNG TRANSPORT IN TAUNTON RIVER
Congressmen Barney Frank and James McGovern, and Mayor Edward Lambert praised the finding by the United States Coast Guard that the proposal by Weaver's Cove for the transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the Taunton River appears to be unsafe. This notice, which was communicated to Weaver's Cove in a May 9 report submitted by the Coast Guard's Southeastern New England Captain Roy Nash, represents a major setback to the company's plans to construct an LNG facility in Fall River. Frank and McGovern also noted that they are working on additional initiatives in Congress aimed at preventing the Fall River LNG plan from going forward.
"This is great news, and I commend the Coast Guard for their unbiased and reasonable evaluation," Frank said. "This report confirms what we already know -- Fall River is the wrong location for an LNG facility. This is an important step toward preventing the construction of this ill-advised facility, and I will continue to do all that I can to stop this project from going forward."
"The review from the Coast Guard supports what we have been saying all along -- that no matter how big or small, LNG tankers in the Taunton River pose a serious threat to public safety," Rep. McGovern said. "I hope that Weaver's Cove will finally do the right thing and abandon this ill-conceived proposal."
"I am very pleased with the Coast Guard's preliminary decision," Mayor Lambert said. "I wish to thank the city's congressional delegation for their continued efforts to protect the citizens of Fall River from this ill fated plan."
A letter from Captain Nash accompanying the report states that, "it appears that the waterway may not be suitable for the type and frequency of LNG marine traffic contained in your smaller tanker proposal." Weaver's Cove had sought the Coast Guard's approval for a plan to use smaller tankers to transport LNG in the Taunton River to the proposed site in Fall River, after McGovern and Frank passed legislation barring the removal of the old Brightman Street Bridge.
The report's Executive Summary adds that "[t]he sum of measures, mitigations and precautions described in the Weaver's Cove proposal do not appear to sufficiently reduce the risks to a point where the waterway could be declared suitable for the proposed cargo transit."
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